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Stephanie Moss, OD '17, FAAO, a member of the Arkansas Optometric Association, has been chosen to be part of the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2023 Leadership Institute. Dr. Moss was chosen from a talented applicant pool. Nominations to the institute were sought from affiliated optometric associations as well as schools and colleges of optometry. Diversity—including gender, race/ethnicity, age (five to 10 years removed from optometry school) and even geography—was strongly considered along with leadership potential in selecting the class.
The AOA and AROA are committed to expanding scope of practice for doctors of optometry to provide equal access to care, end health care disparities and elevate care for all patients. The institute’s objective is to grow a diverse group of leaders who can fulfill that commitment.
According to Melia Robertson, OD '10, AROA President, “The program is designed to give participants the tools they need, the confidence they need and the background they need to become engaged leaders. We know that many people need the tap on the shoulder, the encouragement, the support to step forward and lead.”
Andrea Thau, OD, chair of the Leadership Development Committee and former AOA president, notes that, “Once doctors of optometry complete the program, we hope they will become more involved initially with their affiliates, bringing to them the skills they learned in the Leadership Institute,” she says. “But we also hope that a number of them will rise and lead on the national level.”
Dr. Moss is an optometric physician at BoozmanHof Eye Clinic in Rogers and Bella Vista. Her special interests include glaucoma, uveitis, and contact lenses. She received her undergraduate degree with honors from Birmingham-Southern College. She graduated in 2017 with her doctorate of optometry from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, where she received multiple awards and honors, including Outstanding Clinician Award and membership in Gold Key Honor Society. In 2018, Dr. Moss completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease at the Fayetteville VAMC and NSUOCO. Dr. Moss is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry as well as a member of the American Optometric Association and Arkansas Optometric Association. She completed the 2021-2022 LEAD leadership class through the Arkansas Optometric Association. She is excited to be selected to the national American Optometric Association Leadership Institute. Dr. Moss is an avid Razorbacks fan and an active member of Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers.
About the Leadership Institute: The AOA Leadership Institute is a 12-month long program that will have both virtual and in person components; the curriculum includes four topics: leadership brand, public speaking, negotiation skills, and leading change. Expanding doctors’ professional networks and their spheres of influence also are aims of the institute, sponsored by AOA Visionary Supporters Johnson & Johnson Vision and EssilorLuxottica.
Several alumni were recently honored by the Mississippi Optometric association. Congratulations to Mallory Morris Collins, OD '19, who was named the 2022 Helen St. Clair Young OD of the Year.
Other alumni who were recognized included:
Steve Edwards, OD '87, MOA's 2022 James Brownlee OD of the Year; Glenn Goldring, OD '78, was also a finalist;
Kimberly Ragan '04, and Hilari McFarland, OD '10, finalists for the 2022 Community Service Award;
Walter Pang, OD '13, and Robert Phyfer, OD '16, finalists for the Young OD of the Year award.
It's a hard choice between Eyeball, Academy trips, and White Coat. I will have to pick the gushy option of all the lifelong connections and friendships I have made. Some of which are like brothers and sisters to me.
A patient came in relatively in shape. Vision was reduced and took a look in his retina, one of the worst cases of diabetic retinopathy I have ever seen. NVD, NVE, TRD you name it. I had a really good heart-to-heart conversation with him about controlling his blood sugar and restarting medication.
Fast - forward 3 months later and the patient comes back in saying he wanted to talk to me. I took him to the back room (honestly not remembering him without the chart and a mask on). He goes and says thank you and starts crying.
He listened and went to get checked the next day. What followed was him getting admitted to the hospital for treatment and doctors saying if he didn't come in sooner he may not have lived long. He cried thanking me and thinking of what could have happened. It wasn't the medical advice I gave but the way it was delivered to him as a person that made him listen. I will never forget that day. It reminded me of why I do this and that I do make a difference.
They let me in... hehe. SCO was my first choice due to location and boards scores, but once I visited the campus I knew if I got in then I would not bother applying anywhere else. It just felt right.
I began training for my first 5k on a whim during my 2nd year at SCO because I heard of all the good St. Jude does for the children.
A few runs (2 evil halfs and a 10k) later and here I am again. This year I may not make a personal best, but y'all better believe I will be huffing and puffing out there with the best of them.
SVOSH trip to Belize after my first year of school.
I chose Southern College of Optometry because of it's sense of community, excellent education, and great affordability.
I LOVE the St. Jude Marathon Weekend. Memphis as a city comes out to celebrate a hometown institution with the purest mission. It is one of the most fun races you'll ever run and gives you a "free" walking/running tour of our wonderful city.
My favorite SCO memory has to be participating in an SVOSH mission trip in 2013 to MayPen, Jamaica. There was nothing like putting my newly learned Optometry skills into action to help the local people in Jamaica. I also got to bring my teenage daughter on the trip and seeing her help out in the eye clinic and play with some of the volunteer children is a memory I will never forget.
will be walking the St. Jude 5k this December for the 4th time. It is one of my favorite Memphis event every year. It is so inspiring to walk through the St. Jude campus and have the families and patients cheer us on and express gratitude for raising money for the St. Jude hospital. There is also a great party at the finish line!